A few months ago I wrote an article titled “Doctrinal Certainty About Birth Life – Why I Left Traddery (Part 6 of 6)”.
I discussed my traditional Episcopalian upbringing and how I moved into more conservative religious circles, eventually ending up in commerce, the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and then converting to Catholicism through the ‘Catholic Ordinariate. I never thought I would leave traditionalist circles, not until Trump came along. I will rephrase much of what I wrote previously, then add why I burned my chapel veils at the end.
When COVID started in 2020, I noticed strong internal disagreement in our former traditional Catholic parish over whether or not the Church should follow COVID guidelines. It didn’t take long for this Catholic Church to completely stop asking people to wear masks. Social distancing was minimally attempted. I went to see my Parkinson’s neurologist who advised me not to go to church unless the parish made a big effort to follow COVID guidelines. A Catholic clergyman in the parish of the Traditional Ordinariate informed me that voting for Joe Biden and getting vaccinated were serious sins since both were related to abortion, even remotely. This was happening in traditional Catholic parishes all over the country. I didn’t vote for Joe Biden, but I had to get the COVID shot to protect myself and my patients. That’s when we found the beautiful historic urban San Fernando Cathedral where we still attend mass. This cathedral has followed COVID guidelines throughout the pandemic.
Opening my eyes to the wider Catholic world, I noticed that most of the people in my urban cathedral are Hispanic, which means most of them are Democrats, including the clergy. So, according to the clergyman of the old traditional parish, most people and most clergy at San Fernando Cathedral go to hell because they are Democrats and have had the vaccine. I then checked the official Vatican position that Catholics can vote for life issues on the Democratic side according to our conscience as long as we do not personally support abortion. Then the Vatican distributed the vaccine. I guess according to this cleric, the Vatican is also going to hell. This clergyman and much of the traditional parish were more concerned with the rules than whether or not people lived or died, but unborn children for some were the only lives that mattered.
The same can be said about the doctrine of sexuality when LBGQIA+ people and their families die daily at the hands of untrained and hateful laity and clergy, which I now understand on a professional and family level. All current science and all major medical associations in the world declare affirmation and reconciliation to be life or death. Overall, the church must act to reconcile with LGBTQ Catholics and their families and provide safe, pastoral ministry that aligns with current science. Pushing all of these families out of the Church will only increase the suicides and lasting damage to families that, unfortunately, many marketers are celebrating. This does not mean that Church teaching should change or be discarded, but it cannot be applied to hurt and kill people, which has been happening for many years. “The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health declares that every word and action of love, affirmation or acceptance (which has nothing to do with sexual activity), can mean the difference between life and death for LGBTQ+ people. Everything else will continue to endanger and disrupt the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their families.
Since writing all of the above, I have been attacked by trads from many angles for sharing my professional and personal experiences, quitting trading, speaking out against Trumpism, and speaking out against hard-line fundamentalism. In short, trade has become dangerous under the Trump era. In retrospect, I think it was dangerous before, but showed his true colors when Trump showed his. When Jesus’ first and second greatest commandments and Catholic social teaching are totally suppressed, worship of Trump and the Republican Party is commanded of all, and the celebration of evil and death to minority and marginalized populations is done. part of the Church, it is no longer Christianity/Catholicism. It’s fascism.
So since then, I have burned the veils of my chapel to confront fascism in the Church. It took me many years of study to convert to Catholicism because historically Jesus founded the Catholic Church on Rock upon Peter. But when fascism emerged in traditionalist contexts trying to rule the rest of the Catholic Church and push Pope Francis into early retirement or an early grave, I would have lost my faith if he didn’t there weren’t the Jesuits who actually saved one of my children’s lives. I believe without a doubt that my child would have died if I had not left the trade to the historic urban cathedral of San Fernando with my family who all love him.